As a journalist and radio broadcaster, fact-checking has become an integral part of my work. We need to check, verify, and counter-check facts, before using them in storytelling.
My fact-checking journey started in 2019, after attending a training session. Soon, I started a pilot fact-checking initiative in our community news group. This was just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When Mindanao, Philippines, was hit by COVID-19 in March 2020, I headed our university’s information team to help provide guidance to our stakeholders. We worked on advisories, executive messages, posters, and social media campaigns.
I was tasked to help conceptualise a radio programme in response to the growing threat of health misinformation. We transitioned a regular morning show on radio into one that tackled health information, COVID response, and public education, among other governance issues. The programme soon evolved into an effective initiative to counter the infodemic.
I had the opportunity to serve as one of the anchors of the programme ‘Share to Heal’ (Pagambitay daw ag Kaulian), wherein we facilitated interactive discussions with national and international experts on pertinent health issues. One of the purposes of the programme was to help address health misinformation and provide factual and useful information to the public, especially on COVID-19.
It was a great learning experience for me. Later, I was asked to develop a training design for educators to be broadcasters. It encouraged me to think big, open up to new collaborations. And that’s one of the reasons why I applied to become a member of First Check.
As a global health fact-checking initiative, I hope that First Check can sustain its commendable efforts to counter health misinformation. My earnest wish is that the efforts of the team should reach a wider audience and create more impact in a networked world where the threat posed by the infodemic is too damaging to disregard.
Bukidnon State University, Philippines